Parcel delivery firm DPD has committed to investing £200m in new vehicles and depots as it bets big on the lockdown-inspired ecommerce boom becoming retail’s “new normal”.

The firm said the investment would predominantly go towards expanding its next-day delivery capacity, including £100m on new vehicles, £60m on 15 new regional depots, with the remaining £40m to be spent on technology.

The business said that even prior to the coronavirus lockdown in March, demand for next-day delivery had “risen significantly” and it has forecasted that the online boom seen during the pandemic will continue.

It said the new investment and infrastructure would be in place before Black Friday this November, which it said “will be the busiest” in history.

DPD chief executive Dwain McDonald said: “We are experiencing the biggest boom in online retailing in the UK’s history and we are making this unprecedented investment in our infrastructure and people to ensure we can continue to meet the high levels of demand for our services.

“DPD has been one of the fastest growing major companies in the UK in the last 10 years, due to the growth in e-commerce. But what we have seen in recent months is potentially a much more significant shift in behaviour, and we believe elements of it will be permanent. As a company, we’ve been dealing with rapid growth and ongoing investment cycles for a long time, but this is a very significant moment.

“I do think the high street will bounce back from where things are now, but we have to base our modelling on our conversations with retailers and their projections. It looks like there will remain a much greater reliance on e-commerce in the future - that’s going to be our ‘new normal’. This investment and expansion mean that we will continue to be right there for our retail customers, alongside them, with the capacity to cope with the demand they are seeing online.”